Independence golf courses say pandemic outbreak persists

Written by Haley Parnell, LINK Media Reporter

As COVID-19 has kept many people from seeing friends and family, golf courses have become a safe way to socialize. But even now that many indoor activities are resuming, many people who have turned to golf are staying.

In Independence, The Willows and The Pioneer golf courses have seen a 15% increase in rounds played over pre-pandemic levels, said Nick Bednar, vice president of operations at Indigo Golf Partners, which operates the courses in Independence. Kenton county. Bednar provided an update on the facilities at the Kenton County Tax Court meeting on Tuesday.

Classes benefit from being a remote, but social, sport that allows flexibility with work-from-home schedules, he said.

Don Mills golfs at one of the two courses twice a month these days, but he said that’s not always the case.

Mills was an infrequent golfer until 2020. That’s when general manager David Peru and superintendent Ron Freking came into the picture, using the increase in golfers to make improvements designed to keep them.

“It’s so much nicer to go play there because Dave and everyone always make you feel welcome,” Mills said.

Billy Casper Golf was rebranded as Indigo Golf Partners with a renewed look and logo in the summer of 2020, using the motto “Golf for All”. Last January, Troon Golf acquired the partners of Indigo Golf, merging two of the largest golf operators in the world.

Other improvements are being made to courses, golf carts, equipment and cart paths, Bednar said Tuesday.

Mills said his only complaint about the courses was the cart paths, so this will be a welcome update for him.

According to Bednar’s plans, the overarching goal is to create a larger presence for Kenton County golf courses in northern Kentucky.

“It’s about being part of Northern Kentucky,” Bednar said. “It’s our lighthouse.”

For his part, Mills noticed a difference.

Michael C. Ford